UnChild by Aimer // Album Review

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I went into this album with a certain mindset but that resulted in me not enjoying any of the songs. After giving the album multiple listens and resetting my mindset, I finally have come to the conclusion that UnChild is awesome and the collaboration between Aimer and Hiroyuki Sawano is awesome. I hope they continue this relationship in the future but I'm afraid Hiroyuki's going to move on to other collaborations like with mizuki.

The album designs are one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. I may not be much of a gundam fan or a mecha one in general, but I know a nice design when I see one. Speaking of gundam, I know some UnChild tracks are remakes of those in previous Gundam Unicorn soundtracks but I'm unsure if the other songs are already part of the gundam universe. The ones I know for sure are remakes include EGO, REMIND YOU, and A LETTER.

This is a prefect chance to shift the spotlight to my favourite song in the entire album: A LETTER. The reason I love it so much is because it's done really well. The backtrack is at the perfect level where it doesn't overtake Aimer's voice but is just enough to add that needed epic level of depth. The guitar might be repetitive but I don't get tired of it at all. I especially love the part where the key violin melody kicks in and the high pitch contrasts so well against her voice. And then she sustains a long note and uses vibrato at the very end; that's just extra icing on the cake. That's one of her trademarks and I'm fascinated every time she does it. This is what I wanted from a collaboration from these two: an epic and standout song. This is everything Re:I am and StarRingChild wasn't.

You think I'm done with talking about A LETTER but I'm not. This song was first performed by Cyua and it had more of a classical feel to it. If Aimer were to sing the song in its original manner along with a live orchestra, I would literally implode of happiness. I'm really hoping this happens someday but in the meanwhile, enjoy the lovely live performance from Cyua.

Getting back on topic, I think the consistency and cohesiveness, on a whole, is pretty solid. UnChild starts with UnChild (confusing, I know). The prelude displays a good balance between distorted, electronic components and real, live instruments. Because the prelude is basically a remix of StarRingChild and the next track just so happens to be StarRingChild, the transition is flawless. I felt the cohesiveness kind of weakened when REMIND YOU came on. If the last four tracks were re-arranged somehow, it would flow more smoothly. Strangely enough, NEXT 2 U didn't feel out of place. Maybe because it's a nice change of pace or maybe because I just like that song a lot.

Also the non-lexical vocables stood out to me. For example, when she sings "Nanana" in EGO or "lalala" in Next 2 U.  During those times, the backtrack gets its chance to develop and my ears can concentrate on its awesomeness. A similar effect happens during the "we will keep running" in Bloody f8. 

One thing I noticed are the song titles' strange formatting. Some are lowercase, some are in caps, some include numbers. It doesn't really affect whether I like a song or not but I just thought it was different. Something that hasn't change is my hate/love relationship with Re: I am and StarRingChild. Even in a different language, the flaws are still apparent. Although I will admit those two songs fit this album perfectly. A majority of the tracks had this epic and heavy feel and other tracks were more laid-back and calm and then there were some that were in between. Destiny and But still.... fit the first category while EGO fits the latter and Because we are tiny in this world fits the last. It's a good variety.

This album grew on me. It took a while but I did enjoy this album very much. It also helped that all the songs were sung in English. For the most part, I could understand the lyrics and it was great to know the meanings behind the music.

Now all that I need is Aimer and Hiroyuki performing these songs with a live orchestra...

Recommended Track: Next 2 U
If you like the combination of acoustic guitar, piano, and Aimer, you will like this song.